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Video

Performed by the Adelphi Saxophone Quartet. Published by Stanza Music

See JRB playing the Weber Clarinet Quintet in Bb:

Audio

Hear some of JRB's professional ensembles from the past:
John Brown's Bodies was a nine piece band which featured JRB's clarinet playing. The 'Bodies' did many BBC Radio broadcasts (Radios 1, 2 and 3, and some local radio and TV) during the 1970s and 1980s.
JRB wrote almost all of the 150 arrangements.
The instrumentation is: Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Piano, Bass, Guitar, Drums. Here, the trumpet player is Ian Royle, the pianist Bryan Layton and the guitarist James Birkett. Drummer Andy Jervis played on many of sessions. No commercial CD of the band was ever issued.

Similarly, Clarinet Carnival was purely a broadcasting band.
The instrumentation was:
Clarinet, doubling soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, pan pipes. Clarinet doubling alto saxophone. Marimba doubling LA percussion. Piano. Bass Guitar. Guitar. Drums.
The clarinet / alto is Colin Hulme, the percussionist Peter Birkby, bass-guitarist John McCulloch.
Again, JRB wrote most of the arrangements, though in this selection 'Tico Tico' is the work of Bill Charleson.

Spooky Takes a Holiday, by Larry Clinton (1909-1985), named Satan rather than Spooky when originally recorded by Tommy Dorsey. Clinton, who served throughout the Second World War as a flying instructor with the United States Army Air Force, played clarinet, trumpet and trombone. This John Brown's Bodies version of the tune features the great, and seriously under-rated, jazz trumpet playing of Manchester-based musician Ian Royle, who has long deserved to be a national poll winner in the British jazz world.

Fun and Games started life as an original piece composed by JRB for a library music recording for the Studio G label, and is used here by kind permission of the owner of the company, John Gale. Library music ('source music' in the USA) is produced especially for use in the broadcasting media, to provide themes, title tunes and background music. If you feel that you could use Fun and Games in such a capacity, or are seeking other library music, contact Studio G. They will be pleased to hear from you.

Tango in D was written in 1890 by the Spanish pianist and composer Isaac Albéniz (1860 - 1909), here scored by JRB for the Clarinet Carnival band.

Tico Tico, by Zequinha de Abreu (1880 - 1935) makes use of the panpipes, here played by JRB, in another recording by Clarinet Carnival.
Observant listeners will notice that the panpipes play only very few notes. Each individual tune in the Clarinet Carnival library had its own set of pipes. If the tune called for three notes, then the instrument was assembled with only three pipes, bound together by sellotape! To play wrong notes was almost impossible.
The pipes were little plastic tubes, with a cork stopping one end. Thus a pipe could be tuned by moving the cork. Not a purist's solution to using pan pipes, this represented the pragmatic approach of a time-conscious studio player (JRB), who is a player of the clarinet and saxophone, not an expert pan-piper.

Nuages ('Clouds'), played here by guitarist James Birkett, as part of a John Brown's Bodies broadcast. Perhaps the best known composition of Django Reinhardt (1910-1953), this arrangement is written by JRB.

Most of the BBC recordings were made at the BBC Studios in Birmingham.
First, JRB would write the arrangements, copy the parts, fix the musicians - and practise the pan pipes! Then, in a three-hour recording session, thirty minutes of music would be mixed and recorded straight onto quarter-inch magnetic tape. That is, between eight and ten items would be recorded. Sometimes, a second session took place in the afternoon.
In a procedure known as 'rehearse-record' a copy of each score would be given to the producer and sound engineer, a few bars of each piece would be run to give the crew an idea of the nature of the piece (and to allow the musicians to identify the nasty bits), and recording would begin.

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